There are fears a Melbourne anti-lockdown protest and people delaying testing across the state could lead to a worsening of Victoria’s growing COVID-19 outbreak.
- Authorities say a concerning number of people have delayed getting tested, despite having symptoms
- Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett says there is a real risk of spread from Saturday’s protests
- Contact tracers are focusing on downstream infection but a number of mystery cases remain unlinked
A statewide lockdown came into effect yesterday afternoon, bringing regional Victoria back into line with Melbourne’s strict stage 4 restrictions.
The number of active cases of the illness rose to more than 400 on Saturday, with 44 per cent of those under the age of 19.
At least 21 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Shepparton in north-east Victoria, with multiple exposure sites emerging in the regional city and in Ballarat.
They include the Greater Shepparton Secondary College, a “super school” that will soon become Victoria’s largest.
COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar yesterday confirmed some members of the cluster, which is spread across at least three households, had shown symptoms for days before being tested — a trend being seen across many of the state’s new cases.
“We are seeing too many people waiting too long to get tested … we need to see people getting tested at the beginning of their infectious period, not a week or so in,” he said.
A further $1,500 is available for people who contract the virus or who have to quarantine for a full 14 days as a close contact